While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
It is usually a traumatic experience when you are bitten by a dog. For many people, the experience is a shock because they didn't see it coming. If this ever happens to you, there are a few things you should know.
If the dog is still loose, call the police
Sometimes a dog will be loose, and after biting a person, the dog will be apprehended by the owner, but just as likely, the dog will wander off. At this point, the dog is still a danger and could bite someone else. Animal control will likely be notified by the police, but let them handle the problem. Do not attempt to capture the dog, and don't let others with you attempt to do it either.
Try to get information about the dog
If the attack was severe, you may not be able to do this. In that case, it will be up to the police to investigate the attack. But if it is possible, you should get witness information. This is especially true if you will not be transported to the emergency room by ambulance but someone else is taking you to an urgent care facility or a walk-in emergency room. You or a friend can quickly get contact information for eyewitnesses or even the dog's owner.
Make sure you see a doctor
Regardless of the severity of the bites, if the dog broke your skin, you need to see a doctor. Bites can often be worse than you imagine. Some of this is due to the adrenaline that has been released in your body. It is possible that you have sustained more than one bite without realizing it, and need medical attention.
Contact a personal injury attorney
Although you are likely to be entitled to compensation, it can be complex due to the differences in laws from one legal jurisdiction to the next. But if the dog was running loose due to negligence on the part of the owner, you may have a case. For example, if the dog owner knew there was a problem with the fence but failed to repair it, this may constitute negligence. Or perhaps the fence was too low, and the dog could easily jump it. But even without the issue of containment, an owner walking a dog that they could not control could form the basis of negligence.
Unless the dog was on a leash, the dog is likely to still be loose after it attacks you, so make sure you call the police because it may attack again. Always seek medical attention when the bite breaks your skin. And remember, whatever compensation for the attack you may be legally entitled to will be based on a police report and the fact that you sought medical attention.
For more information about consulting with a personal injury lawyer after a dog attack, contact a local law office.